Research from China suggests that even low levels of nitrites in drinking water can cause cancer. Why is the West ignoring the evidence? asks Oliver Tickell
The possibility of a link between nitrite in drinking water and cancer was first noted in 1970. To this day the view of the western ‘scientific establishment’ remains that the effects of nitrite – and the related substance nitrate – are well understood and there’s not much for us to worry about, though it is a good idea to eat less bacon and other preserved meats.
But Chinese scientists are reaching a very different view: that nitrite in drinking water is closely linked with cancer incidence and mortality. Indeed, nitrite pollution may be responsible for up to half of all cancer deaths in developed countries – even when nitrite and nitrate levels are within legal limits.More